By Cara Sulieman
THE NEW Principal of Glasgow University has praised his predecessor and set out his plans for the future in his first public statement since taking up the post.
Professor Anton Muscatelli sent out a message to alumni of the university, speaking about how happy he was to replace Sir Muir Russell who headed up the institution for six years.
Heavily involved with academic community, Muscatelli is the former principal of Heriot Watt University and currently Convenor of Universities Scotland – the organisation which represents higher education in Scotland.
He started his post by paying tribute to Sir Muir Russell and saying that he plans to build on the current success of the university.
The 47-year-old said: “I am delighted to be returning to the University of Glasgow, a university that has meant so much to me and which has been instrumental in shaping my academic and professional life.
“It is an immense honour to be appointed Principal and to have the fantastic opportunity of leading our great University forward to what I hope will be further success.
“I want to pay tribute to my predecessor, Sir Muir Russell, for his leadership and vision and for guiding the university to greater heights.
“These achievements have come about through the talent, determination, and commitment of our academic and support staff, and I know that these same qualities are essential if we are to reach our goals.
“Glasgow is one of the very best Universities in the UK. Throughout its history it has had a major impact on the world stage, and in recent years it has significantly grown its influence.”
Although he has always been a lecturer in Economics at universities in Scotland, Muscatelli has gained the reputation as one of the country’s leading economists and has been a consultant to the World Bank, European Commission and the Secretary of State for Scotland.
More recently, he led an independent expert group for the Calman Commission, looking at the economic impact that devolution would have on Scotland.
The former Principal Sir Muir Russell said: “Professor Anton Muscatelli brings great academic authority plus the experience of heading a strong, research-led University at Heriot Watt which, during his Principalship, developed new, imaginative and convincing strategies.
“His successful leadership of Universities Scotland reflects the high regard in which he is held by his colleagues in the higher education community.”